While you were at work or taking care of business at home, your child experienced a full day of their own at school. In their prime growing years, those seven hours spent in a classroom every day can lead to life-changing experiences. Keep up with what’s going on in your child’s head and life with these three questions to ask when they get home from school.
“What did you learn today?”
Your child’s brain is being molded every time they jump on that bus to head to school. Experience their excitement about new information by asking this simple question. It can open up a line of communication into what exactly is going on in your child’s psyche that day. Even if they simply learned that Christopher Columbus landed in the New World in 1492, that can lead to other conversations about how the world used to be, who Christopher Columbus was and what your child thinks about explorers. You might be surprised by how much information they learn each and every day.
“What unique experience did you have today?”
The old cliche adage is true. You learn something new every day, and many of those things are not learned in classrooms. Your child’s friends or teachers may have done something funny that day that your child is jumping at the chance to discuss. Instead of asking “How was your day?” an open-ended question like “What unique experience did you have today?” allows your child to think of a specific point in the day and tell you about it while developing their storytelling abilities. Whether the answer is positive or negative, the question allows you to address what’s happening in their life. This is also a great way to get a sense of if your child is getting along with their classmates, getting bullied or having social trouble.
“If you could do today over, what would you have done differently?”
Maybe it was a bad test grade or a missed opportunity to sign up for the school talent show, but reflecting on what your child could have done differently today or can change in the future may improve their school experience in the long run. Addressing what they failed to do that day can help your child realize what they’d like to do tomorrow. Rather than taking a negative tone, tell your child what behaviors they can alter to do better next time. This question is a great way to give a little parental advice without seeming overbearing, especially with teenagers. This way, they’re bringing up the topic and you’re chiming in with your expert advice.